Hello Fellow Arrowmen,
Another summer camp season has come and gone, and it is time for us to get ready for the rest of the year! But let me take a moment to celebrate this past year. After a dip in our membership and callouts following the pandemic, we have be
gun to rebound as an organization! This summer we called out over 60 individuals who were selected by their fellow Scouts and Scouters, a return to our pre-pandemic numbers! I want to thank our lodge officers and executive committee members and their advisors for a great year, and setting our lodge up for many successful years to come. And I would also like to thank all the volunteers who have helped us out throughout the year, and for each of our members who have either gotten involved or continued their involvement in our great organization. Our Brotherhood is stronger because of everyone's contributions, and it will continue to grow as long as we work together towards our common goal to fulfill our purpose as an integral part of ScoutsBSA and Mississippi Valley Council.
There are several events coming up as well as some key information that I will be highlighting in the this blog post. Feel free to jump around to the various sections as there is a lot of information that is about to be covered. I take the minute in "Lodge Advisor Minute" very liberally.
As always, my proverbial door is always open, and if you have questions about the information below, or just general questions about the lodge, feel free to contact me and I will do my best to answer them for you. And thank you all for taking the time to read through this mountain of information, I really do appreciate each of you taking time out of your day (probably more than just a minute) to come up to date on the various lodge happenings.
Yours in Brotherhood,
Jason Vallone | Lodge Adviser
Order of the Arrow
Black Hawk Lodge 67
P: (641) 799-2034
Annual dues for 2022
I would like to remind everyone to please consider paying your lodge dues for the year. The money that we collect from dues is invested directly into lodge events, trainings, and also directly into our council programs and events. Paying your annual dues may not seem that important, but without those funds, we cannot accomplish our goals as an organization. Being a current dues paying member is also a requirement for wearing a lodge flap per National ScoutsBSA policy. Please see the below answer from the National Chairman who was asked about who can wear a lodge flap after induction to the OA is completed.
"An Order of the Arrow member can always wear their sash and the Universal Arrow Ribbon once they have completed the induction. However, wearing a lodge flap indicates that their current dues are paid in the specific lodge that the flap represents. So, if the individual has not paid their dues, they should remove the flap from their uniform." - Ray Chapp, National Chairman
Please know that I will not go around asking Arrowmen to remove lodge flaps from their field uniforms if they do not have their dues paid. Scouts are Trustworthy. A Scout will know if they have paid their annual dues and have met the requirement to proudly display our lodge flap on their uniform. Again, it is not my place to judge or act as the uniform police. And I would ask that my fellow dues paying members be Courteous to your fellow Arrowmen as well. We all should wear our Black Hawk Lodge flaps with great pride. We have a truly great organization, filled with truly great people.
If you do not know if your dues have been paid for the year, you can run a "Dues Check" on our website here. You will need your BSA ID to run the check. We have just updated this function to be current as of 8/10/22, so if you have paid your dues anytime before that, you should be able to confirm that we have received and processed your dues payment. If you have paid your dues this year, but the report does not show that they are up to date, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org so that I can get that fixed for you. And for those of you that do not have your dues paid for the year, again I would ask you please consider paying your dues at this link on the council website.
I truly believe that each and every member of our lodge matters. And your place in the lodge matters. Regardless if you play a large part or a small one. You matter. As an organization, we can positively influence so many different things within scouting, and collectively, we can accomplish some very meaningful projects for our council. And paying your dues not only helps our lodge grow, it also give us the financial means to support local scouting in even bigger and more impactful ways in the future.
Fall Reunion 2022 (Sept 16 - 18)
This is a reminder that Fall Reunion is just around the corner! If you have not already marked your calendars, the event will take place at Saukenauk Scout Reservation from September 16th - 18th. This will be the first opportunity for those Scouts and Scouters who were called out this summer to complete their induction into our order. So if you know an elected Scout or Scouter, please encourage them to attend if they are able. If they they attend Fall Reunion, they will have the opportunity to seal their membership and get their Brotherhood at our Spring Conclave. They also will get the chance to start meeting their new fellow Arrowmen and begin forming those bonds of brotherhood that tie us all together.
Every Arrowmen is invited and encouraged to attend! If you are and Ordeal member, and have been one for at least 6 months, you can complete your Brotherhood at this event! Or if you have already done that, or still need to wait a few months to meet that requirement, you can participate at the event in one of many different ways! One of the most important roles at an induction event is the roles of Elangomats and Nimats. They lead our crews of Ordeal and Brotherhood candidates as they go through their induction process. If you have any interest in being one, please contact our acting chief, Landon Melvin, at email@example.com, and he can get you in contact with our induction chairs, Ben and Chris Weber. They will very much appreciate your help and support.
Our ceremony team will also need plenty of help building our ceremonial fires and getting our ring set up for the event. This is always a very fun job, and is a great time to meet and get to know your fellow Arrowmen. Yes, the work can be quite arduous, but it quite rewarding when you see the fire blazing during the ceremony.
And if you would rather provide service to camp, Ranger Mike always has a mile long list of projects that we as a lodge can work on and support during the event. Service projects can be the most personally rewarding things to help with, especially knowing that you played a role in the improvement of camp, which you will be able to see every time you go back for a campout.
Lastly, we can always use a few more hands in the kitchen. The key to a great event, is great food. And the key to great food is great cooks. If you are willing to help in the kitchen, play a key role in the making of our famous Flower Pot Bread, send me an email and I will get you in contact with our head cook for the event.
To get signed up for the event, please click on this link, the early fee will close on 9/14. If you have any questions regarding the event, please send me an email and I will do my best to address them. A list of required items is listed on the registration page.
Lodge Officer Elections / Lodge executive committee/ Lodge advisors/ lodge officer training weekend (Oct 1-2)
On the Sunday of Fall Reunion (September 18th), we will be holding our annual elections for new lodge officers. This includes the Chief, Vice Chief of Program, Vice Chief of Operations, Treasurer, Secretary, Eagle Valley Chapter Chief, and Shoquoquon Chapter Chief. For those of you who are interested in taking a key leadership role in the lodge, consider running for one of these positions. And for those of you who are interested in taking a leadership role in the lodge, but do not feel quite comfortable running for an elected position, you should consider signing up to join the Lodge Executive Committee as a chairman. Collectively, the officers and the LEC chairman run the day to day activities of the lodge and make the key decisions regarding many different aspects of the program. This includes events, activities, budgets, merchandise, programs, and more! Being a part of the LEC is a great way to hone and develop your leadership skills for the future. You can go from being a leader in your troop, to being a leader in a council wide organization. LEC meetings are help monthly, and we will work with the group to find the best available times to meet so that we can have as many members on the LEC participate as possible.
You may be thinking though, well I am not sure I will be able to help since I won't know what I am doing. That is very understandable! That is why we plan a Lodge Officer Training Weekend (this includes chairmen)! That will take place at Saukenauk Scout Reservation from Saturday, October 1st to Sunday October 2nd. This event is put on by the lodge for everyone on the LEC, and there is NO COST to attend! We will introduce you to the job that you are undertaking, and give you the tools and help you will need to be successful. You will also get to meet your fellow Arrowmen who have also signed up to be on the LEC and we will do some team building activities together. So if you are now convinced to sign up to run for an officer position or be part of the LEC, fill out this linked form. If you are still unsure, don't worry. If at Fall Reunion you meet someone and decide to get involved, we will gladly accept your help!
FOR ALL THE ADULTS OUT THERE READING THIS.... Here is my shameless plug/request for you to consider taking up an advisor role in the lodge. We always need more help and guidance of selected capable adults (From the Order of the Arrow Mission Statement) . You too will have the opportunity to go to the LOT training weekend to get introduced to your officer/chairman that you will be working with throughout the year, and learn what your role and responsibilities will be. I can promise you, that the job is both fun and rewarding. And I know my fellow advisors would attest to that. We have a great time together. Nothing is quite like literally hanging with your fellow advisors in a shelter house with a 8-10 hammocks strapped to the rafters. If you have any interest at all, please send me an email, and I promise I will find a place for you.
Section Conclave 2022 (Oct 7-9)
This year Section Conclave is being hosted by Woapink lodge, also known as the Awesome Possums, at Rhodes France Scout Reservation near Pana, Illinois. The event will be taking place over the weekend of October 7th-9th. The theme for this year is Brotherhood of the Round Table so be sure to bring all of your amour, shield, swords, and arrows! Join us on this quest for search for the Holly Grail as we travel the land. There will be many different competitions, shows, and activities! Who knows maybe we will even find out how far a Swallow can carry a coconut!
Section conclaves are open to all lodge members, youth and adults. They also are a great place to meet other Arrowmen from our neighboring councils. It can be both very fun and also eye opening discussing differences in traditions between the lodges, and oftentimes, the similarities between lodges. Its easy to think that our lodge is the only one that either does a specific cool and unique thing, or has issues with one specific problem, but you will often ben surprised just how similar different lodges actually are. Those conversations really highlight the ties of brotherhood in our organization, as you can easily find yourself conversing with what was a complete stranger, for many hours. It is really quite a cool and unique experience, and it can give you a new appreciation about how wide-reaching the OA truly is.
Also during the conclave, you will get the opportunity to meet and vote for the new Section Officers. And this will be important, as they will be the ones who are planning the Section Conclave for 2023, which will be hosted by OUR LODGE at Saukenauk Scout Reservation. So it will be doubly important for our lodge to have as many lodge members attend as possible. They will see what is all involved with a Section Conclave, and things that they would like to improve or change for when we host it. And it will be important for our youth to help vote on the section officers that they feel would be best to plan and lead the conclave for next year.
Something new for this year, is the price structure for the event. There is a special early bird fee of $29 that is only available to youth (under 21) through the end of this month. At the end of this month, the fee goes up to the normal $45. So be sure to sign up soon! You can find out more information about the event, and find the registration page here.
This is a reminder to track and turn in any all hours related to community service either to the council, camps, lodge, or non-profits (such as a church). Each year, the lodge compiles and reports the total number of service hours provided by its members throughout the year. We can receive special awards and recognition from National if we meet certain criteria. Last year the service provided by our members helped us be recognized as a High Performing lodge, the highest award available! And our goal should be to that again this year! And we would also like to submit our lodge for consideration for another National Service Award, in which we have been awarded several in the last decade. And I know we can do it!
So please check out our Service Portal on our website, here you can check how many service hours that you currently have (hours current as of 8/10/22), and submit new hours. You will also find out specific information on what hours are accepted, and those that do not quality according the national rules. If you are ever unsure though, there is no harm in reporting hours, even if end up not being able to accept them. There is a lot of other good information at the service portal that I encourage you to check out.
A note about the service hour check, if you type in your name, and nothing comes up, it is possible that either your dues are not paid or hours have not been properly recorded. Please send me an email and I can let you know what is going on. We are only allowed to report service hours from dues paying members. That also means your hours are only eligible for the lodge service awards given out each year during winter banquet if your dues are paid. So if you have been very active at either camp or the council or the community and want to receive the highly coveted Gold Service Award, please pay your dues and report those hours! I will be happy to record them! Again, send me an email if you have any questions regarding service hours. I will be happy to answer them.
Lodge calendar - up to date through the end of 2023!!!
For those of you who are planners, and want to get dates into your calendar as soon as they are available, our lodge calendar is up to date and goes out through the end of 2023! We will periodically make changes if necessary (such as adding a chapter event), but all of our major lodge events are now set through the end of the 2023 calendar year. You can find the lodge calendar here. I encourage everyone to both enter the dates into their phones, and also share them with their troops, so that they can plan accordingly as well.
Order of the arrow High Adventure - philmont, northern tier, summit, sea base
OA High Adventure programs are available to all YOUTH Arrowmen, and provide an opportunity to attend one of the National High Adventure Bases at a fraction of the cost that it normally would be. This is possible because half of your stay will be focused on providing service (such as building trails or clearing debris from current trails), while the other half of the stay, you get to plan out and pick your own adventure with your crew at the base. Speaking of crews, you can sign up for these individually (you don't need a full troop contingent) and you will be put on a crew with other Arrowmen from across the country.
Remember all the cool and unique conversations that I mentioned before that you get to have a section conclave? Well now think about having those with other Arrowmen while at PHILMONT! Talk about an experience! National has 5 different OA trail crew experiences that you can pick from. One at Philmont, Summit, and Sea Base, and two at Northern Tier. And youth arrowmen can sign up for one, two, or all of them!
Pricing for next year's treks are as follows:
Philmont: $425 for two weeks
Northern Tier: $250 for two weeks, this is the same for both available treks
Sea Base: $550 for 8 days (already full!)
Summit: $325 for 7 days
Take note that these prices do not include the transportation to and from the high adventure bases. But also note that MVC charged $325 (if I am not mistaken) for only 1 week of camp! So OAHA is a great way to rather cheaply visit all the national high adventure bases! If you have any more questions, or want information about signing up, please email me and I will help you with that process. It is one of the OA's most highly rated programs available and well worth it!